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647605The 87th Precinct quickly became a favorite and I only have a half dozen or so to finish them off. It’s something I savor reading one every now and then. There’s a lot going on in this, the thirteenth novel from 1960.

A hot, summer Sunday morning.

The police have Pepe Miranda, a thief and killer, pinned in a hotel room. He refuses to come out. The building is surrounded by both civilians and police. The roofs, hanging out of windows, all watching, the crowds alternately cheering the police and Miranda.

We have Zip, a would-be gang leader who’d formed The Latin Purples and idolized Miranda. He has four members and wants instant respect. He thinks murdering a sixteen year old who’d merely said hello to a young woman he fancied as his girl friend(she had other ideas) as the way to go. He’d blown it up from saying hello to feeling her up. The encounter with real gang members hadn’t helped his ego.

Andy Parker of the 87Th, once a good cop, who’d survived a savage beating and now wanted to kill Miranda to “fix” himself.

And Steve Carella, going in disguised as a priest, knowing he was going to be used as a hostage. Miranda had already shot one of the patrolman that went up to arrest him and a detective, Frankie Hernandez, climbing the fire escape after Zip shouts a warning.

As always, McBain paces everything nicely, drawing things out to the inevitable conclusion.

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